Grants management

Grants management for nonprofits: An FAQ and software guide

Grantmaking organizations and foundations strive to ensure their funding programs have the biggest impact by distributing those funds to the most qualified and deserving nonprofits. However, the grants management process can easily become complex for both grantmakers and seekers alike, especially for organizations managing multiple grants at once. 

To help grantmakers stay organized through every step of the grants management process, our team at Fíonta will dive into a few common questions about grants management before exploring the top software solution for grantmakers: Salesforce Grants Management.

Grants Management FAQ

Organizations new to grant management will need to have several key questions about the process answered before they can begin accepting grantees. Here are a few essentials all organizations getting involved with grants should know:

What is grant management?

For grantmakers, grant management consists of administrative oversight, due diligence, budget management and reporting that need to be completed when offering a grant. The grant management process begins with the initial formation of a grant, and it continues all the way through the grant’s follow-up process and potential renewal. 

For grantseekers, grant management refers to all of the steps an organization needs to take to apply for a grant. This includes making contact with the grantmakers, filling out the grant application, grant writing, and follow-up communication. 

This guide will primarily focus on grantmakers and the tools available to them.

What do grant managers do?

Both grantmaking and -seeking organizations have grant managers. For grantmakers, the grant manager oversees the application, award, and follow-up processes. They will coordinate with their team to assess grantees, ensure funds are correctly distributed, confirm that all organizations involved are maintaining compliance, and that follow-up with grant recipients is properly conducted. 

What are the steps in the grants management process?

While the grants management process can involve a variety of complex details, it ultimately will consist of four major steps:

  • Develop the application process. When creating a new grant, an organization will first need to determine its requirements. These can include deadlines, specific types of organizations that can apply, and the grant’s overall objective. After establishing these basic guidelines, grantmakers will then create their application forms, which should be crafted to allow grantseekers to show how well they meet the grant’s requirements.
  • Review potential grantees. Grantees will submit their applications for your grant, typically through an online portal. There, they will learn about your grant’s requirements and submit their application online. After the grant application deadline, organizations will be able to review each application. To stay organized, many grantmakers will rely on their grant management software to manage their review workflow. 
  • Award funds. Upon choosing the grant recipients, grantmakers will notify all applicants about whether they were selected to receive a grant and, if so, how much they will be awarded. The winners will then sign an official agreement noting any stipulations of the grant before receiving their awarded funds. 
  • Follow up. After a grant has been awarded, grantmakers and recipients will need to determine how they will track the outcomes of the grant. This includes deciding how often grant recipients will report to the grantmaker, what they will include in their reports, if the grantmaker will conduct on-site visits, and if there is an option for renewing the grant. 

To help grantmakers stay organized throughout this process, it can be worthwhile to invest in specialized grant management software. These tools can help grantmakers communicate with grantseekers, create their application process, and manage their internal processes. 

While there are many tools available for grantmakers to consider, one of the top solutions is Salesforce’s Grants Management software.

Salesforce Grants Management Software

Salesforce now offers its own full-featured Grants Management package. This set of features for Nonprofit Cloud and Sales Cloud provides foundations and other grantmaking organizations with everything they need to oversee grant management. 

Grants Management is built on the Outbound Funds Module, which was developed collaboratively with the community of nonprofits, grantmakers, partners, and staff under the Open Source Commons program. 

Grants Management is a native and wholly transparent experience for applicants and grantees. From the organizational perspective, Grants Management offers all of the same functions from the Outbound Funds Module, as well as:

  • Robust and fully customizable templates for creating a unique application process and collecting applications through the Experience Cloud Grantee portal.
  • The ability to standardize necessary due diligence tasks, such as verifying an applying organization’s tax status through Guidestar.
  • Budget management designed to effortlessly track awarded amounts against a program’s budget. 

With these tools, grantmakers will be able to seamlessly oversee their grants though their Salesforce CRM. 

Of course, getting set up with Grants Management software can require assistance from an expert. Fíonta brings extensive experience in nonprofit grants management best practices and business processes to the implementation process and can help you leverage Grants Management in the way that works best for your organization.